Report: Former Colts voice Bob Lamey used racial slur shortly before retirement

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Bob Lamey spent much of the last 35 years serving as the play-by-play voice of the Indianapolis Colts on radio before announcing his retirement on Sunday.

It turns out there may have been an impetus for the retirement announcement.

According to Jennie Runevitch of 13 WTHR, a radio employee accused Lamey of using a racial slur in the days preceding the announcement.

The employee said Lamey was telling a story about his time working at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a conversation Lamey had at the track.

“He had asked me if the mics were off and I said, ‘Yeah, I turned everything off. You’re fine’,” the employee recalled. “Bob Lamey’s describing this person saying he was asked in an interview, ‘Do you think anyone’s holding back their speed at [Indianapolis Motor Speedway] during quals? Do you think anyone’s holding back?’ And that person had replied ‘There aren’t any ‘blank’ in this race.”

“Blank,” in this instance, was the n-word.

The accusation was substantiated by a statement by Lamey’s attorney to Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star Tuesday night acknowledging that Lamey had used “an inappropriate word” in the retelling of a story to a friend off-air.

“It should be noted that Bob does want to acknowledge that while repeating a story whole off-the-air last week to a friend at a local radio station, he used an inappropriate word that had been used in the story,” attorney James H. Voyles said. “Bob immediately apologized to the people involved for the comment and would hope that this error in judgment would not tarnish his long-held reputation in the sports community where he has been known as an accurate and passionate reporter.”

The employee filed a complaint with the human resources department at Emmis Communications, which followed up with the Colts about the incident.

“No legend. No person you look up to uses that kind of hurtful language at all,” she said. “It made me sick to my stomach.”

The statement from Lamey’s attorney also denied that Lamey was fired by the Colts.

90 responses to “Report: Former Colts voice Bob Lamey used racial slur shortly before retirement

  1. Well he seemed to be apologetic and did not mean it at all. Heard he is classy all the way. People are so PC these days. People do speak without thinking but at least he admitted his faults. Just let him retire in peace. No harm nor foul.

  2. Thank goodness there isn’t any tape( to my knowledge) of my friends and I telling jokes or just being foolish growing up. This outrage at anybody who has used offensive language or even a racial slur over there lifetime (especially people over 50) is a bit over the top. I bet you many folks of all colors have at one time or another either joking or when they are angry used inappropriate words. Get over it, grow up and some thicker skin. No wonder why nobody runs for office with half a brain because nobody is perfect and there’s somebody waiting to take you down. Sad.

  3. I don’t know too much about Lamey but it seems more like a case of him not talking to the right audience than anything. He was feeling too comfortable with whoever he was talking to so he repeated the word from the story and got in trouble for it, it could but not something to necessarily reflect on his person.

  4. Why doesn’t this word make us sick to our stomachs when it’s used in music, movies, pop culture, that degrades women, glorifies violence and drug use? As a general rule for decent and good humans if you wouldn’t say a word in church, a job interview, with a client, around little children, or your mother it is better to just never say the word. Our culture is rotten!

  5. This is getting out of hand. I’m not a fan of using that word but people losing their jobs for an off air conversation where the person was quoting the use of it??

    Get a grip, context people

  6. Where are all the people to defend this guy?
    Usually there are the typical guys here that would say something like, “Well he thought he was off air”

  7. So… he told a story about somebody – as in somebody else – using the “N” word?

    Are we really so desperate for outrage and indignation that we’re digging this deep to find something to be offended by? Doesn’t America have more pressing problems right now?

  8. Sounds like said employee was trying to make a quick dollar. Meanwhile shes probably the most judgemental person working there. Should Bob have said such word? No, but it appears he wasn’t directing it towards anyone.

  9. Yup that sucks. There’s no place in this world for racist language. Hopefully he doesn’t lose any retirement benefits over this though. I think the shame of being assumed a racist is punishment enough. Hopefully we all learn something from this because I think we all grew up hearing racist jokes and still find them acceptable to some degree. They are not. The days of producing laughter at the expense of others are over.

  10. When was it decided this word couldn’t even be said when re-telling a story? And who decided? Do you think the person was really sick to her stomach? Think she’ll ever recover?

  11. Why is it that it’s not innapropriat to use ethnic slurs if you are a member of the ethnicity the slurs are directed at?
    If it’s offensive shouldn’t it be offensive no matter who is using it?

  12. I love listening to his whiny voice in the NFL FILMS highlights of the Patriots crushing the Colts’ hopes.
    I’m not surprised that he would tell a story like that. He seemed like a clown.

  13. It’s ok Big Bob….we are a forgiving people.

    We just wanna know when the “draining of the swamp” will commence.

    #letsjusthaveanotherrally

  14. he didn’t use the word. he told a story about someone else that used it.

    The fake outrage is noted.

    Have you listened to the music they play in every stadium around the league? Artistic impression my a$$.

  15. Well…..i guess he deserved to lose his job because he said a single word.

    Maybe he should be put in jail.

  16. If it makes you sick to your stomach that someone was offended by something inappropriate that says a lot about you not being sensitive to anyone but who you care about, good for you and what that brings you. If he was classy he would not have said it and I guess if it didn’t harm you it’s okay, but screw anyone else. As far a rapping it goes, just maybe when its being rapped it really isn’t a message for you. Just maybe that message is meant to be heard by someone else. What is wrong with respecting everyone and their cultural identity, not just whoever’s being spoken to at the time, everyone, all the time. Why is that so hard to do?

  17. The comments hear perfectly explain the position those on this board take on the anthem issue. Using the word reflects a mindset that you have toward people of color. Most of those commenting excuse it and think it’s no big deal because they probably use the word themselves.

  18. As a black man, I am always asked about this “word.” My answer is it always on intent. If he was screaming it in anger with intent to insult someone he would be wrong. The guy was telling a story and it wasn’t even him using the word in the story. If Quinten Tarantino and Spike Lee can use the word to tell a story Bob Lamey should be able to also.

  19. They want it both ways…ban the confederate flag because it brings back racist times…but don’t ban the “N-Word” because it doesn’t bring back racist times?…

  20. He probably should have not actually spoke the word, even if repeating a story because of the ridiculous outrage over a stupid word. That said, I’m more offended someone else was offended enough to end up making this guy resign. I mean, come on people, if I’m an enemy country, I’m just licking my chops with a chance to crush the USA. We have become a sissaified bunch of wimps. On a biological level, it doesn’t make sense. It’s a word and like the gentleman above stated, it’s about it’s intent and how it’s used. Anyone, cheers all, enjoy your day.

  21. cletuspstillwaterjr says:
    August 22, 2018 at 6:20 am
    As a black man, I am always asked about this “word.” My answer is it always on intent. If he was screaming it in anger with intent to insult someone he would be wrong. The guy was telling a story and it wasn’t even him using the word in the story. If Quinten Tarantino and Spike Lee can use the word to tell a story Bob Lamey should be able to also.

    As a “white” person, BTW I’m more beige than white but I’m not offended if you call me that, I find the double standard diabolical. I was working at a party where 90% of the guests were various shades of brown, no there was no one there whose skin was actually black, and I was forced to listen to “the word” over and over and over for hours. Was I offended? Only in the knowledge that I was being forced to listen to something offensive that I could not repeat for fear of reprisal both from the guests of varying melanin levels and my employer. Context should matter but let’s be real here. If you are possessed of a very low melanin count context is not going to save you if you slip up.

    We’ve been set up and we’re either too stupid or to afraid to say enough.

  22. cletuspstillwaterjr says:
    August 22, 2018 at 6:20 am
    As a black man, I am always asked about this “word.” My answer is it always on intent. If he was screaming it in anger with intent to insult someone he would be wrong. The guy was telling a story and it wasn’t even him using the word in the story. If Quinten Tarantino and Spike Lee can use the word to tell a story Bob Lamey should be able to also.
    ————————————————-
    cletuspstillwaterjr You are being reasonable
    Stop is ….the snowflakes don’t like that

  23. I was watching the Wire last night. I should probably alert someone in power but they say the N work maybe 100 times each episode. I think that show should be pulled from every archive in the country. Not sure why this show is still out there. I mean if a guy sez it once when there is only a few guys around and he looses his job, How many jobs should be lost when this show sez it 100 times every show. I am guessing the entire cast and crew should have been fired!

  24. I was listening to pandora and heard that exact word dropped about 50 times in the coarse of hour. Its a shame that rappers and comedians get idolized for using it constantly and others get vilified for a single use. People scream equality but they dont want equality. They want rules that apply to everyone but them. The out cry should be across the board. If they want the world to be color blind then they need change their ways just as the others whos ways they are trying to change.

  25. snakeman40 says:
    You hear a word and it makes you sick to your stomach? THAT makes me sick to MY stomach!

    –My thoughts exactly

  26. So he didn’t “use” the word, he quoted someone else as using it, and that’s sufficient to end his career.

    Hard to see how that makes the world a better place…

  27. Someone, somewhere, will be “ offended” by some word, somehow, no matter how it’s used, where it’s used, regardless of the good, bad or indifferent intent of the speaker.

    What a sorry state of affairs.

  28. Oh please…..many blacks call themselves or their friends that when they meet up or use it in songs…..it’s so hypocritical….. it’s not even news worthy…..

  29. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
    Let me get this straight….
    An 80 year old man told a story to someone in which he used the ‘n’ word not to actually slander black people but taken as a direct quote of someone else, and people are sick and up in arms and everything eh?
    Pretty sad state we live in where everyone is either offending or being offended, all. the. time.

  30. One of the reasons I like coming to the site is to read all of the comments – its a daily reminder, especially on stories like this to never be like 99.9% of the commenters on here. Why are you defending the use of this word? He shouldn’t have said it. I don’t think he should lose his job over it, but defending it is moronic.

  31. Will this over reaction ever end……a career ended because he told a story. Wouldn’t it be great if his boss said he’s NOT GOING TO BE FIRED,he was telling a story. Unfortunately it’s easier to let the person go, instead of dealing with Sharpton, Jackson…..

  32. superfanentertainment says:
    August 22, 2018 at 7:32 am
    The colts suck and so does Bob LAMEy. I’ve always found his voice annoying. He sounds like a 1920s carny.
    ____________________
    Did you ever figure out where RG3 is playing?

  33. So he was quoting what someone else said? I’m confused..
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Don’t understand why you’re so confused. So to repeat a derogatory word makes it ok? Some women call one another the B-word in general conversation. Can a man “affectionately” call another woman the B-word?

  34. I am about as liberal as you can get and I think this is going too far. Saying that someone else said the n-word is not equivalent to using the n-word yourself. Is it more appropriate to say n-word than the actual word? Of course it is, but the judgment error of quoting it is not nearly as bad as using it oneself. In our bifurcated society we’ve lost the ability to understand nuance, it seems.

  35. A lot of it has to do with how you assume he said it.

    Absolute nonsense.

    On the other hand, this does away with anyone at all being able to weasel out of a situation by pointing to context.

  36. lyfordjr says:
    August 22, 2018 at 7:35 am
    So he didn’t “use” the word, he quoted someone else as using it, and that’s sufficient to end his career.

    Hard to see how that makes the world a better place…

    —————————

    Sad isn’t it? Yet we have video of JPP using it in anger against Prince Amukamara during what was hazing / borderline assault and the media and nothing ever comes of it. Last I checked, JPP still has a job.

  37. flexx91 says:
    August 22, 2018 at 8:47 am
    So he was quoting what someone else said? I’m confused..
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Don’t understand why you’re so confused. So to repeat a derogatory word makes it ok? Some women call one another the B-word in general conversation. Can a man “affectionately” call another woman the B-word?

    ———————————————

    Yes. But your example isn’t the same as what happened.
    If I was telling a story about some other person calling a woman the b word it would be similar.
    And still not the same since the ‘b’ word and ‘n’ word are, apparently, different levels of verbal abuse.

  38. Is it a double standard to say that people shouldn’t be offended by a certain word, but then turn around and get very offended when those same people take a knee? Not trolling, simply trying to understand.

  39. orangecrush78
    i think the point of most folks on here is that he shouldnt lose his job over repeating a quote of someone else.
    Abraham Lincoln used the word “colored’ repeatedly. i dont see anyone condemning him to alcatraz like some folks seem to feel about this old guy.

  40. tylawspick6 says:

    August 22, 2018 at 12:08 am
    disgusting

    ————————————————————

    Nah, you’re just a pathetic Patriots troll with an ax to grind for the Colts.

  41. qckappa says:
    August 22, 2018 at 6:16 am
    If it makes you sick to your stomach that someone was offended by something inappropriate that says a lot about you not being sensitive to anyone but who you care about, good for you and what that brings you. If he was classy he would not have said it and I guess if it didn’t harm you it’s okay, but screw anyone else. As far a rapping it goes, just maybe when its being rapped it really isn’t a message for you. Just maybe that message is meant to be heard by someone else. What is wrong with respecting everyone and their cultural identity, not just whoever’s being spoken to at the time, everyone, all the time. Why is that so hard to do?

    ======

    Ok, so by your point his relating it in a story in a private conversation was not a message for you. It was not a message for any of us. So by your point then there should not be a bunch of upset people running around.

  42. I’m sorry but you never hear this word on the radio and there is no place for non-people of color to use it. I thought that would be easy to comprehend, but apparently, it’s not. The history of the words used by one race included using it to degrade and belittle. That was never the case with the other.

  43. crush22 says:
    August 22, 2018 at 6:59 am
    BTW….Bob is almost 80 years old.
    Probably time to step down anyway.

    ===============
    There is some truth here. No way retirement wasnt a looming topic with this guy anyhow, probably had been for a while. So rather than this being losing his job the conversation may have gone like this.

    “I have to talk to you about somthing you said”
    “Huh! What?”
    “Apparently you were privately telling someone a story about a third party that used a certain word and in the telling of what that person said you actually said what that person said”
    “Yeah so? I didnt mean anything by it, I was just iterating the quote”
    “But the person you told it to is now complaining all over the place over the word you used”
    “Seriously?”
    “Yup. And there are plenty enough people out there who get up every day looking to find something to become upset about and were able to use this as their latest excuse to act all offended”
    “Why do they do that?”
    “Mostly peer approval. They and their freinds operate on a concept that if you are not getting offended at everything it means you are insensitive and unenlightened. They fear being seen that way so they look for ways to make a show of it”
    “Yeah, the world is getting nuts. Maybe too nuts. Ill tell you what, Ive made my contributions and its been a great long run. We have had many good yimes and I will remember them fondly and thankfully. I think Ill call it here though so I dont have to put up with the growing nonsense.”
    “Fair enough, thats your call to make.”
    “Ill swing down to HR and get that ball rolling”

  44. Not surprised. In today’s ‘Murica being racist and making racist comments are acceptable, understandable, minimized and defended while protesting for equality and against racism is frowned upon and unpatriotic…

  45. Dave Terry says:

    August 22, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Thank goodness there isn’t any tape( to my knowledge) of my friends and I telling jokes or just being foolish growing up. This outrage at anybody who has used offensive language or even a racial slur over there lifetime (especially people over 50) is a bit over the top. I bet you many folks of all colors have at one time or another either joking or when they are angry used inappropriate words. Get over it, grow up and some thicker skin. No wonder why nobody runs for office with half a brain because nobody is perfect and there’s somebody waiting to take you down. Sad.
    —————————————–
    Yeah its cool to be the forgiving kind when it suits the person or situation. Yet the same fans on here and players in the league like J. Ramsey or J. Adams don’t mind piling on a kid like Josh Allen for stupid Twitter comments he openly admits were wrong when he was 15 freaking years old.

  46. I’m shocked I tell you. Shocked. These people with the “I just repeated it” nonsense are the funniest though. You are either that self unaware or that racist that you still think that’s okay.

  47. Mark Twain used that “n” word.
    I guess he should be banned.
    Stupid and pathetic. Just a word. If you want to get excite, there are many more things and events to blow your top at.

  48. Welcome to the 21st century, where everyone is offended by anything and anyone who you offend will try to ruin your life.

  49. vegaskid21 says:
    August 22, 2018 at 10:35 am
    The 1st amendment right still stands! Don’t it?

    7 1 Rate This

    As dumb as the whole incident is, the 1st amendment has nothing to do with it. The 1st amendment protects you from government persecution. It does not protect you from social or private persecution. This is the unfortunate world we live in. Mob mentality and hypersensitivity rule the day. The world isn’t a better place. It’s fake and hollow just like the “social justice” they use to indulge their own racist tendencies.

  50. Nobody cares about autistic kids until they have one…Nobody cares about gay jokes until they have a family member who is gay. Same can be said about handicap jokes and jokes about the less privileged. In America we only care about the group WE are apart of. Screw everybody else. Now go ahead and give me a thumbs down like what I said doesn’t represent the thinking of the majority of America.

  51. youngnoizecom says:
    August 22, 2018 at 10:26 am
    I’m sorry but you never hear this word on the radio and there is no place for non-people of color to use it. I thought that would be easy to comprehend, but apparently, it’s not. The history of the words used by one race included using it to degrade and belittle. That was never the case with the other.
    =
    I don’t believe you’re sorry at all. Should people of lighter color be allowed to have their own private words? Are you seriously suggesting that we need to have a color chart with a list of words that can be used based on your melanin level? If my great great grandfather was black but I appear more white can I use the word?That almost sounds racist and just a wee bit hypocritical. Like most things in life, this isn’t a black and white issue. But it does suit a “cause” or two to have a built in way to be offended when convenient.

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